Does Food Really Cause Acne Breakouts

Episode #10 / May 22, 2009
We love chocolate just like everyone else. But should we shy away from it because it causes acne? What about oily foods like pizza? Dr. Schultz will discuss the "forbidden" foods that supposedly cause acne and if there's really any merit behind these accusations. Perhaps you'll be eating chocolate again right after this episode... We can, however, say that for sure, consistent consumption of iodine and seaweeds and spinach can cause acne.
David on May 29, 2009 at 1:09am

False. Food could cause acne in many cases or at least worse it. Read 'Cosmetic Dermatology' by Leslie Baumann, 2009 chapter 8. I am bored to hear the same comment from dermatologist when there are many proofs about that food influences a lot in acne.

Dr. Schultz on June 2, 2009 at 3:48pm

@David: You are absolutely correct that in many cases food "could cause acne." In fact, Dr. Baumann and I discuss it often, and even today I had a 42 year old female patient who came in pointing at a red rash and zit on her chin claiming, "Appeared six hours after eating chocolate!" But we (you, me, Dr. Baumann, and others) need to consider possibilities versus probabilities. Well controlled statistically valid studies have determined that the "forbidden foods" (excluding iodine containing foods, which I have an upcoming segment on) cause acne in less than 5% of the acne population. For this small group, any of the mentioned "forbidden foods" can be culprits and for the afflicted sufferers, its a real problem. But the good news is that most of them know what foods cause them to break out and have learned to avoid them. While I'm trying to keep each episode on the shorter end and thus can't say everything about a topic in each, I am grateful to you for giving me the platform to respond to this controversial issue, and to help put into perspective quantitatively how small of a part of the acne population is non-iodine food sensitive. Please keep your insightful comments coming so we can all share our knowledge! Lastly, good news: research to learn more about this issue is ongoing.